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This report assesses women’s access to justice and women’s political participation in parliament, local councils and civil society organisations at national and subnational level in Colombia. It examines existing legal, political and institutional frameworks in order to better understanding of successes, challenges and implementation gaps in the government’s pursuit of access to justice and gender-equality.

The findings of this report are of particular relevance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has widened structural inequalities in an unprecedented manner In Colombia, as well as globally, violence against women is on the rise under lockdown measures and movement restrictions. For example, the Colombian Observatory for Women has analysed the behaviour of calls received to the national hotline for women facing violence and found an increase of 150% in calls reporting cases of domestic violence during the period of confinement (March 25 to June 25) in relation to the report for the same period last year. The crisis has also highlighted the role played by gender-balanced leadership in ensuring gender-sensitive government policies and responses to the crisis, addressing the impact of the pandemic on women, and promoting inclusive recovery. The findings and analyses presented in this report thus can inform policies related to Colombia’s exit and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

This report was prepared within the framework of a four-year co-operative project between the Government of Colombia and to OECD to promote institutional efficiency and sound public governance in Colombia. It addresses two of the six technical project components: i) supporting Colombia to enhance women’s political participation, and ii) access to justice as a human right and the impact of justice service delivery at the local level in Colombia, with specific emphasis on gender-equality issues, in particular for women victims of violence.

The project’s ultimate aim is to support inclusive growth and bring Colombia closer to OECD countries by providing actionable solutions to help Colombia design and deliver effective, responsive policies and services to citizens and businesses in all regions of the country, including enhancing the strategic agility of the Colombian state in the post-conflict era. Cross-cutting issues such as gender equality, access to justice and human rights are integrated in the implementation of all components of this project, in line with growing awareness that integrating gender-impact analyses in the public policy process contributes to inclusive economic growth and lower levels of inequality.

The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) in accordance with the agency’s objectives to foster democratic governance, strengthen environmental policy making, enhance peace and security through citizen participation, guarantee human rights, strengthen democracy and increase the capacity to govern.

The project is part of OECD work on access to justice, which promotes people-centred access to justice by focusing on citizens’ experience and legal needs and how they link to other inclusive growth determinants, such as health, education, employment, housing, etc. It also builds on the OECD Gender Initiative, including the 2013 OECD Recommendation on Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship, and the 2015 OECD Recommendation on Gender Equality in Public Life.

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© OECD 2020

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